#1 Valparaiso sits in third place after the first of three days of competition at the Prairie View A&M Invitational, being held at the Bowling International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas.
The Crusaders tallied 4,110 pins through the five four-game baker sets on Friday afternoon to end the day in third place, just 77 pins behind second-place #5 Central Missouri. #8 Arkansas State holds the top spot through the first day of action with 4,317 pins.
While Valpo's placement through the first five games was solid, the Crusaders suffered in the won-loss column on Friday, going just 2-3. Valpo started the tournament against #5 Central Missouri, falling 861-789, and then fell to #8 Arkansas State by an 854-816 score.
“Those first two sets of the day, we bowled first games of 150 and 170, and that really put us in a position where we lost two matches we easily could have won,” said Crusader head coach Matt Nantais. “The good news is that our first set was our worst of the day, and we bowled pretty well from then on.”
The Crusaders continued in search of their first win of the tournament in their third set, but suffered an 828-812 defeat against #14 Norfolk State. Valpo ended the day on a high note, however, posting its two best four-game scores in victories over #9 Nebraska (864-797) and #11 Stephen F. Austin (829-803).
“Overall, we didn't leave that many splits today and averaged over a 205, so we bowled well,” said Nantais. “When we bowled Norfolk State, it seemed like they were striking with everything they threw, but we came back well to beat Nebraska and Stephen F. Austin. I was pleased with the fact that, dealing with illness, Alyssa Alvarez came in and bowled consistently well today despite not being in a regular role all season long.”
Valparaiso (59-25) continues action at the Prairie View A&M Invitational on Saturday morning, beginning five traditional team matches at 9:40 a.m.